MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has filed a motion in Missoula federal court to enter an amicus curiae brief supporting state-regulated wolf hunting in Idaho and Montana. If the motion is granted by U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy, RMEF documents will be considered in Molloy’s decision on whether to allow or stop the hunt.
A hearing is scheduled for Monday and a ruling could follow soon afterward.
A coalition of 13 environmental groups filed an emergency injunction asking Molloy to stop the planned hunt and return wolves to the endangered species list.
“Long gone are the days when species like elk, bears and wolves can go completely unmanaged. We don’t live in a zoo and this isn’t the old West. It is frustrating that America’s wildlife conservation system, which has worked wonderfully well since the time of Theodore Roosevelt, has been reduced to a legal chess match,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO.
Allen said the Elk Foundation’s brief reinforces four main points:
* Historic success of modern, hunter-based conservation in North America.
* Viewpoints of hunters who continue to pay for the big-game resources that made wolf recovery possible.
* RMEF-funded research, along with other scientific and anecdotal evidence, showing that wolf populations are fully recovered and that, where wolves are present with elk, wolves are having detrimental impacts on elk.
* State wildlife agencies are best suited to manage wolves alongside other species.
Allen urged Wyoming and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to work together on a mutually agreeable wolf management plan to help clear a legal path to regulated wolf hunting in The Cowboy State.
Posted by Tom Remington